Clegg “did not agree” to the veto

John Rentoul

Nick Clegg 007 300x180 Clegg did not agree to the vetoJust to elaborate on my previous post, because I did not write down Nick Clegg’s actual words on the Andrew Marr programme. I had not realised quite how humiliating his position now is. Here is the BBC report:

The Deputy Prime Minister said he had learned of the veto in a phone call from the Prime Minister at 0400 GMT, shortly before Mr Cameron gave a press conference announcing it publicly.

Asked what his reaction had been, the Lib Dem leader said: “I said this was bad for Britain.

“I made it clear that it was untenable for me to welcome it.”

That sounded to me like, “I reluctantly agreed to it but I didn’t like it,” which is why I thought this morning’s headlines, especially in The Independent on Sunday, “Clegg rages at Cameron’s ’spectacular failure”’, were having cake and eating it.

However, I am told by a good source that Clegg “didn’t agree to using the veto”. So what Clegg was actually saying to Marr was, “I was bounced; I disagree with the policy of the Government which I jointly lead; but I’m not going to resign, not even on an issue of such historic and fundamental principle.”

That is much, much worse.

Photograph: BBC/Getty Images

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  • mightymark

    Anthony. Thanks for your response. You imply that that there has to be something wrong with the status quo – I am not sure why, or why you automaticqally assume (as I think you may) that any alternative would of necessity be better.

    I offered one specific reason why I though it was better – you have chosen not to engage with that.

    I am particularly interested to note y the way that Brent appears to the context of your views – as it was mine too! I have very distinct memory of a joint Liberal/SDP campaign meeting at which a more than usually disreputable wheeze was suggested. When one member (in fairnesss, a Liberal) demurred he was met with the response “come on mate – your’e a Liberal aren’t you” from which I, fairly I thought, drew the conclusion that that kind of campaigning was endemic. Nor was this the only example I could cite. 

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